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Rare silver Seth amulet


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Hello everybody,

I received yesterday a silver Seth amulet, which is very rare for two reasons:

1. Silver was imported in Ancient Egypt and there are few silver artefacts compared to gold ones. Gold was abundant in Nubia, now Sudan.  

2. Seth amulets are very rare. I am aware of only 5: one in copper alloy in the British Museum (#EA22897), another wooden one also in the British Museum (see Fig. 79c in Carol Andrews,  Amulets of Ancient Egypt, 1994) , one glazed in the Art Institute of Chicago (#X36), and one in gold in Le Louvre (#E7659). The 5th one, an inlay in red jasper, was since years in my own collection. 

As you know Seth was the devil because he killed his brother Osiris. Therefore, amulets of Seth were only worn, especially under the Ramesside Period (Dynasty 19), but never placed in mummy bandages (see Carol Andrews, p. 26).

In any case I bought my silver Seth from Hussam Zurquieh, who I fully trust. Hussam has been accused of selling fakes. This was not deliberate but by ignorance:  

a) Hussam sold me a very sophisticated fake of possibly Mehet-Weret, an obscure goddess mostly known by a bed in the treasure of king Tut. I was dubious and asked Ralf Kotalla in Germany to perform a thermoluminescence test of this amulet. Verdict: recent glazed fake. I sent the Kotalla's report to Hussam, asking him for either a refund or an exchange for an amulet of similar prize. Hussam did not make any difficulty. He accepted an exchange. In addition, Hussam did not ask for a return of the fake, clearly indicating that he was intending to resell it.

b) Hussam described my silver Seth amulet as a Khnum one in electrum. I gently cleaned and polished it. This is a hollow silver one, not in electrum. However, this is in my opinion, a masterpiece. The amulet is large (H 5.6 cm), well detailed, and in a rare material without any parallel to my knowledge.

Apologies for this long message,

Have a nice day,

Didier

 

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Here is another of these amulets from Ebay. The seller says its dimensions are: 5.8 X 1.7cm, 3.67 gr. The groove on the knee of the left leg could indicate that the two amulets are from the same mould (see last picture below).

The seller is Hussam Zurquieh:

ZURQIEH -AD11971- ANCIENT EGYPT , NEW KINGDOM SILVER SETH AMULET. 1250 B.C | eBay

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Edited by Tejas
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@Didier Attaix I also think that Hassam Zurquieh is usually reliable in the sense that he does not sell obvious fakes. I have never bought from him, but I suggested some corrections to his attributions of scarabs to him. He sometimes attributes scarabs to famous kings like Thutankhamun, based on obvious misreadings of the hieroglyphs. He normally thanks me for the correction, but does not change the listing. I think when an object, which he has on offer, turns out to be a fake, he may have believed it to be genuine. In sum, he is probably no worse or better than some of the auction houses. This is just my personal opinion from regularly reviewing his offerings.

Edited by Tejas
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I agree with your opinion. I told Hussam that it was a Seth amulet, but he did not change his erroneous description in his COA (attached below). 

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However, I strongly believe Hussam to be a much more trustable seller than both Christie's and Bonhams. They are unfortunately selling (very few, I admit) fakes but at rocket prices to unexperienced buyers 😠 🥵

Have a nice day,

Didier

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@Didier Attaix, Huge congratulations on this!  ...18th Dynasty.  Stick a fork in me; I'm Done.

(Right. independently of the ever more fraught logistics relating to foreign dealers (sic), whether they involve attribution or shipping.)
Especially to @Tejas's point, above, here's what I get to know.

Even with the sort of European firms who routinely list on Biddr, life has taught me to check their attributions.  Independently of their professional ethics, which are often (also sicabove reproach.

And, thank you, the ethical side of the dialectic will always be what you need first.  ...To mix cliche, that was my two cents, for what they're worth.

 

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